US: Chicago teachers' strike enters another week after talks fail - - PressFrom - US
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US Chicago teachers' strike enters another week after talks fail

14:40  28 october  2019
14:40  28 october  2019 Source:   reuters.com

Chicago strike means day off for some, emergency for others

  Chicago strike means day off for some, emergency for others Chicago parents are leaning on family, friends and community groups with teachers in the nation's third-largest school district on strike. The strike based on a "social justice" agenda follows months of negotiations between the union and Chicago Public Schools that failed to resolve disputes over pay, benefits, class size and staffing.Teachers say the walkout is about getting more resources and smaller class sizes for students, not about more money for them. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the district's finances are precarious and it can't afford all of teachers' demands.School buildings have remained open.

Striking teachers rallied again later on Friday at Chicago 's Buckingham Fountain, however. The strike is the latest in a wave of teacher work stoppages Lightfoot, a political newcomer elected in April, faced her first major test after Chicago teachers voted to strike following the failure of contract talks

Over the weekend, the teachers ' union and public school district failed to resolve talks over class sizes, support staff and pay. Lightfoot, a political newcomer elected in April, faced her first major test after Chicago teachers voted to strike following the failure of contract talks to strike a deal on pay

(Reuters) - About 300,000 students in Chicago will miss classes for an eighth day on Monday, as the teachers' union and public school district failed over the weekend to resolve a deadlock in contract talks over class sizes, support staff levels and pay.

FILE PHOTO: Teachers protest during a rally and march on the first day of a teacher strike in Chicago© Reuters/JOHN GRESS FILE PHOTO: Teachers protest during a rally and march on the first day of a teacher strike in Chicago

Each side blamed the other for the impasse in the United States' third-largest school district, where the strike began on Oct. 17, and the union, which represents the city's 25,000 teachers, has been without a contract since July 1.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Public Schools' chief executive, Janice Jackson, blasted the Chicago Teachers Union in a joint news conference on Sunday for not accepting the school system's offer.

Chicago mayor begs teachers to return to classrooms amid ongoing strike

  Chicago mayor begs teachers to return to classrooms amid ongoing strike Disagreements over pay, benefits and class size are among the top concerns that prompted the strike, which started on Thursday, Oct. 17. Monday marks the third day of school missed as a result of the strike. Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrote a letter Monday to Chicago Teachers Union president Jesse Sharkey, calling for the teachers to return to the classrooms while negotiations carry on. "While we have made progress at the bargaining table, it is unclear that we can reach an agreement today given the current pace," Lightfoot wrote in the letter.

Chicago teachers went on strike Monday for the first time in 25 years after their union and district officials failed to reach a contract agreement despite intense weekend negotiations that the union said were productive but still failed to adequately address issues such as job security and teacher

Only a three- week teachers strike in Union City , California, in June was longer this year. Chicago teachers voted to go on strike against the third-largest U.S. school district after contract negotiations failed to yield a deal on pay, class overcrowding and a lack of support staff, such as nurses and social

"We are enormously disappointed that CTU cannot simply take yes for an answer," Lightfoot said before listing the specifics on offer, including "a big, 16 percent raise for teachers."

She added, "At every turn we've met CTU's demands."

But the union blasted the mayor's assertions that the schools had met much of its demands, declaring that Lightfoot used "bad mayoral math" to describe the schools' offer.

"Sticking points at the table remain," including "contract language designed to rein in classroom overcrowding," union officials said in a late night statement.

"Put bluntly, the deal that CPS is touting will not set an enforceable class size standard for all schools."

The union also wants more support staff, a contract that runs three years instead of five, and more paid prep-time for elementary school teachers.

Number of social workers a key sticking point in Chicago teachers strike

  Number of social workers a key sticking point in Chicago teachers strike Number of social workers a key sticking point in Chicago teachers strikeCHICAGO (Reuters) - As the Chicago teachers strike enters a sixth school day on Thursday, negotiations are hung up in part on the question of how many social workers the third-largest U.S. school system can afford for its 300,000 students.

Chicago Public Schools canceled classes for another day after the teachers ' union and the district failed to reach a deal to end a week -long strike .

Log In. Politics. Chicago teachers to strike after talks fail . CHICAGO (AP) — For the first time in a quarter century, Chicago teachers walked out of the classroom Monday, taking One after another , parents refused to leave their children at unfamiliar schools where they would be thrown together with

The weekend saw some progress however, as the union representing some school support staff made a tentative deal to end the strike, Lightfoot announced, covering custodians, security officers and bus aides.

But media, including the Chicago Times, said late on Sunday that 7,500 members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) would not cross the CTU picket lines. The terms of the SEIU agreement were not immediately available.

On Friday, officials had been more optimistic for children to be back in school after the weekend, with the leader of the Chicago Teachers Union saying he was hopeful the previous day's talks had given the path towards a settlement.

"Right now I’m guardedly optimistic," President Jesse Sharkey told a news conference.

Striking teachers rallied again later on Friday at Chicago's Buckingham Fountain, however.

The strike is the latest in a wave of teacher work stoppages across the United States, some of which, such as a six-day work stoppage last winter in Los Angeles, have involved similar demands for more school resources.

Chicago teachers, school district resume talks to end strike

  Chicago teachers, school district resume talks to end strike Contract talks between Chicago Public Schools and striking teachers are resuming, with city officials saying the gap between the two sides remains huge. Chicago Public Schools Chief Education Officer LaTanya McDade said Sunday that the district is offering a fair contract that goes toward providing what students need for an equitable education. But she says the district must be financially responsible.

Only a three- week teachers strike in Union City , California, in June was longer this year. Chicago teachers voted to go on strike against the third-largest U.S. school district after contract negotiations failed to yield a deal on pay, class overcrowding and a lack of support staff, such as nurses and social

Chicago teachers went on strike Monday for the first time in 25 years after their union and district officials failed to reach a contract agreement despite intense weekend negotiations that the union said were productive but still failed to adequately address issues such as job security and teacher

It has lasted longer than walkouts elsewhere, except for a three-week strike by teachers in Union City, California in June.

President Donald Trump plans to be in Chicago on Monday for a speech and fundraiser for a grouping of international police chiefs that is expected to draw thousands of protesters as well as supporters, Politico and other media said.

But it was unclear how the planned protests and picket lines of the striking teachers would affect traffic and police resources.

Lightfoot, a political newcomer elected in April, faced her first major test after Chicago teachers voted to strike following the failure of contract talks to strike a deal on pay, class overcrowding and a lack of support staff.

She has said the district could not afford the union's full demands, estimating they would cost an extra $2.4 billion each year for an increase of more than 30% in the current $7.7-billion school budget.

(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

School's back for 300,000 Chicago students after 11-day teachers' strike .
School's back for 300,000 Chicago students after 11-day teachers' strikeTeachers on Wednesday approved a five-year tentative agreement with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) that includes a 16% raise for teachers, additional social workers and nurses, enforceable class-size caps and extra support for English language learners and special education.

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